Back in March I wrote about a promotion where you can purchase SPG points with up to a 30% discount. The offer is available to everyone and the discount depends on the number of points you are looking to purchase – the more points, the higher the discount. Reminder, this promotion ends today, April 30, 2017!
A friend reached out to me last week asking for some help on using her SPG points at a hotel in Paris. She has exactly 42,000 points and was looking to stay 5 nights. Immediately, I knew that she’d be better off transferring her SPG points to Marriott and then staying at a Marriott hotel. Since she really didn’t care between Marriott and SPG and just wanted her points to go as far as possible at a nice hotel, this was the best scenario. In Paris, the lowest level SPG property (in a good area) is 20,000 points a night, where the lowest level Marriott property (in a good area) is 40,000 points a night. Remember, due to the SPG/Marriott merger, you can transfer your SPG points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio (and vice versa). That means a 20,000 point/night SPG property is equivalent to a 60,000 Marriott property, making a Marriott property a MUCH better value. It also means that the 42,000 SPG points she has is equal to 126,000 Marriott points.
Originally, she was going to use her points for three free nights and then pay the lowest possible rate she could find for the other two nights. For those not aware, Marriott has a 5th night free benefit when redeeming your points. That means, in this scenario if she had another 11,333 SPG points (equivalent to 34,000 points) that would get her a free night for both the 4th and 5th night at the Paris hotel. Purchasing 11,500 points currently costs $342. Paying this price for two nights at an expensive Paris hotel (over $300/night + taxes) is well worth it!
Of course there are many other scenarios where purchasing points makes sense, even if it is just for a one night stay. But remember, you are capped at purchasing 30,000 SPG points (or 90,000 Marriott points) per calendar year. And while you will not earn points for your stay while redeeming points, you’ll still earn the stay/night credits if you are trying to earn status for the year.
So if you have any upcoming SPG stays, do the math to see if you are better off purchasing points for your stay. If you are traveling to an expensive city/resort during a peak time, you might be surprised in the value of purchasing points. I do not suggest speculatively purchasing points though! You can purchase points here.
Anyone else have any real life scenarios on where purchasing points has saved you some money?